“. . . The branches of this land foster me . . .” (Fouzi El Azmar)

[Note from the blogger:  this blog will be published every second day beginning today.]

Selected News of the Day 

EU Slams Israel’s Settlements As “Serious Breach Of International Law”

Days of Palestine
September 18, 2019
Shortly after the Israeli government approved the establishment of a new settlement on the outskirts of Jericho city, the European Union slammed all settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, as a serious breach of international law.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙“The European Union reiterates that all settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law,” said the EU spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Maja Kocijancic in a press release.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙The EU called on Israel to “end all settlement activity and to dismantle the outposts erected since March 2001 in line with prior obligations”, the statement said.   More . . . .

Israeli Forces Destroy Over 100 Olive Trees In Northern West Bank Village

Days of Palestine
September 18, 2019
Israeli soldiers chopped  down on Wednesday scores of Palestinian-owned olive trees in Burqin village, west of the occupied West Bank district of Salfit, according to  Marwan Abdul Rahman, head of Burqin village council.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙He said soldiers chopped more than 100 olive trees in Khirbet Qarqash area located in the northeastern part of the village.  More . . . .

  • Israeli army cuts water supply to Jordan Valley village
    WAFA
    September 19, 2019
    The Israeli army today cut water supply to the village of Bardalla in the northern Jordan Valley after shutting down the water taps supplying the village with its daily water needs, according to member of Bardalla village council Darrar Daraghmeh.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙He said soldiers raided the village and proceeded to shut the pipes supplying the village’s around 2000 population with their daily water needs without giving reason for this action.  More . . . .
  • Israeli Soldiers Bulldoze Palestinian Agricultural Lands Near Qalqilia And Salfit
    IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
    September 18, 2019
    Israeli soldiers bulldozed and uprooted, Wednesday, large areas of Palestinian agricultural lands in Hijja village, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, and near Salfit in central West Bank.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Mohammad Abu Sheikh, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in Qalqilia governorate, said several army bulldozers started uprooted approximately 145 Dunams of farmlands.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙He added that the Israeli violation comes as part of the efforts to expand the Industrial Zone of the illegal Karnei Shomron colony, which was built on privately-owned Palestinian lands.    More . . . .
  • In a large-scale search-and-arrest campaign, Israeli forces round up 22 Palestinians in West Bank
    WAFA
    September 19, 2019  In a large-scale search-and-arrest campaign, Israeli forces detained early this morning 22 Palestinians in various areas of the occupied West Bank, including three 14-year-old minors, according to the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS).
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙It said soldiers raided the town of Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem, and detained three 14-year-old minors after raiding their family homes.   
    More . . . .

Commentary

Israelis have made their verdict clear: Benjamin Netanyahu’s time is up

The National
Jonathan Cook
September 18, 2019
For most Israelis, the general election on Tuesday was about one thing and one thing only. Not the economy, nor the occupation, nor even corruption scandals. It was about Benjamin Netanyahu. Should he head yet another far-right government, or should his 10-year divisive rule come to an end?
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Barring a last-minute upset as the final ballot papers are counted, it is clear that Mr Netanyahu does not command a majority and could well be on his way out. . . . The difficulty is that such a coalition would depend on the support of the 13 Joint List legislators representing Israel’s large Palestinian minority. . . .   More . . . .

Poem of the Day

“I  AM  THE  SON  OF  THE  LAND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL ASMAR

You may take my hands
and lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me.

You bereaved me
from the light
and I marched
You robbed me
of the bread
and I ate.
You plundered the land
from me
and I ploughed.

I am the son of the land
and for that
I find goodness in this earth
anywhere I happen to be:
The ants of this land
feed me
The branches of this land
foster me
The eagles of this land
will shield my open revolt

Yes
You may take my hands
And lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me
But here I will stand tall
And here I shall remain
until the very end. (April, 1970)

From: El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.    Available from Google Books.

Support ‘Palestine Writes’, the first Palestinian Literature festival in North America
Mondoweiss
Nada Elia, September 18, 2019  More . . . .

“. . . Even her dreams are besieged . . .” (Samih Faraj)

IMG_3240 - Copy

Members of delegation from Sabeel Liberation Theology Center, Jerusalem,
in Hebron’s al-Shuhada Street with gates closing the street and
Israeli soldier in guard tower above. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

UN  APPOINTS  NEW  CHAIR  OF  COMMISSION  ON  VIOLATIONS  AGAINST  PALESTINIANS
The President of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) . . .  announced the appointment of Santiago Canton of Argentina to serve as a member and chairperson of the Council-mandated Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.   Canton . . .  will replace David Michael Crane of the United States who recently stepped down as a member of the three-person Commission.   ___The Commissioners have been mandated by the Human Rights Council to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the blockaded Gaza Strip. . .    More . . .

SPAIN  READY  TO  RECOGNIZE  PALESTINIAN  STATE
Spain has become the latest country to voice its readiness to recognize the State of Palestine and that it will promote a European Union (EU) move to recognize Palestine as an independent state.   ___Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, spoke at a conference of EU leaders in Austria, saying that the Spanish government will promote an EU move to recognize Palestine.   ___Borrell said that “if the EU is not able to reach a unanimous decision, then each to their own.”   More . . .
Related . . . MEMBERS  OF  EU  PARLIAMENT  CALL  ON  EU  TO  RECOGNIZE  PALESTINE

ISRAELI  FORCES  SEVERELY  ASSAULT,  DETAIN  HEBRON  RESIDENTS    Israeli forces raided a Palestinian home, on Wednesday night, the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, and assaulted its residents.   ___Locals said that Israeli forces raided the home of Palestinian, Ghaleb Abu Sbeih, in the Old City of HEBRON and thoroughly searched it, damaging most of his furniture and personal belongings.  ___Israeli forces assaulted two Palestinians, Shaher and Ibrahim Abu Sbeih, during the raid. . .   More . . .
Related . . . ISRAELI  FORCES  INJURE  DOZENS  OF  PALESTINIAN  STUDENTS  IN  HEBRON

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

HEBRON:  6  ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENTS,  95  PHYSICAL  OBSTACLES,  2200  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  TO  PRIVILEGE  850  ILLEGAL  SETTLERS.
For centuries, Al-Khalil (Hebron) has been considered a holy city, primarily because of the Ibrahimi Mosque/The Tomb of the Patriarchs, which followers of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity consider a sacred site of pilgrimage. Today, Al-Khalil is an openly segregated city. The daily lives of its 215,000 Palestinian residents are severely disrupted to privilege just 850 hard-line Israeli settlers, enabled by hundreds of heavily armed Israeli soldiers. More . . .   Join  Visualizing Palestine . . .
Related . . .  OCCUPATION  CAPTURED  09/18:  PHOTOS  OF  PALESTINIAN  LIFE  AND  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  IN  THE  WEST  BANK  CITY  OF  HEBRON
Related . . .  PALESTINIAN  POLICE  PAY  FIRST-EVER  SYMBOLIC  VISIT  TO  HEBRON’S  OLD  CITY

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

ECUMENICAL  ACCOMPANIERS  PROGRAM  IN  PALESTINE  AND  ISRAEL  (EAPPI)    The World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) was created in 2002 by the WCC. . .    1,800 ecumenical accompaniers (EAs) have worked to create conditions for a just peace.   EAPPI advocates for justice and peace based on non-violence and a non-partisan approach. . . To insure adherence to these vital principles at a local level in Israel and Palestine, a Local Reference Group (LRG) with representatives from the Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities, is appointed . . .     More . . .   Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“A WOMAN,” BY SAMIH FARAJ

Take one step towards the old house
And another down the stairs to the home
Where a woman sits in the early evening light:
Light, the radiance of a dove, shining;
Or light like the light from a shrine.
No one knows where she has come from –
Through which quarter or distant land she passed.
What shadow the light cast when she’d gone.
No one knows the flood she passed through –
The risks she took, the daily deluge.
No one can measure the vast sea she crossed,
The hazards she held in her small hands.
An ordinary woman: one step at a time, one step
On the land lacking, on the barren soil; one step
On the time passing; one step on the clock ticking.
Except for something in her now rising, hot, scolding,
Even her dreams are besieged, it seems; yet
In the middle of a siege it’s still possible to dream.
A dream of the old house, and her first step.
—Translated by Jackie Kay

Samih Faraj is a teacher in Deheishe Refugee Camp and a lecturer at HEBRON and Bethlehem Universities. He has been editor-in-chief of several journals, including VOICE OF THE NATION.
Poem from A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014).

“. . . Time has grown up on its own without me. . .” (Yousef El Qedra)

IMG_9342
Maher Karaje stands underneath a canopy of his wilted grape vines (Photo: MEE/Akram al-Wa’ra)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

EU:  ‘ISRAEL  MUST  COMPENSATE  FOR  DEMOLITION  OF  KHAN  AL-AHMAR’
The European Parliament passed a resolution, on Thursday, warning that Israel’s decision to demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, would constitute a grave violation of international law and threaten peace efforts with the Palestinians.    ___The European Parliament, in a 320 to 277 vote, passed a resolution against Israel that called for monetary compensation for financial losses should Khan al-Ahmar village be demolished.   ___The resolution stated that “the status quo in this area is of fundamental importance for the viability of the two-state solution and for the establishment of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state in the future.”   More . . . 
Related
. . . US  SENATOR  [DIANNE  FEINSTEIN]  URGES  ISRAEL  NOT  TO  DESTROY  BEDOUIN  VILLAGE

OVER  150  SCIENTISTS  AND  SCHOLARS  WORLDWIDE  URGE  SUPPORT  FOR  UNRWA
Scientists and scholars from around the world published a letter of support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the Lancet, one of the foremost medical journals in the world, urging support for the Agency after the United States has decided to end its contribution to it.   ___In the letter published on Tuesday, 159 scientist and scholars described the crisis facing UNRWA as “unprecedented,” warning of “a ruinous multifaceted emergency” if no action is taken to the help the humanitarian agency.   More . . .
Related . . . OVER  140  WORLDWIDE  ARTISTS  BOYCOTT  EUROVISION  IN  ISRAEL
Related . . .  UNCTAD  REPORT  PROVES  THAT  ISRAEL  MAIN  OBSTACLE  TO  PALESTINIAN  DEVELOPMENT,  SAYS  MINISTER 

PALESTINIAN  FARMERS  MOURN  CROPS  LOST  TO  SETTLER  ATTACKS  IN  THIS  YEAR’S  GRAPE  HARVEST
Yumna Patel
Every year, in late August, Palestinians begin celebrating the grape harvest, a quintessential part of Palestinian life and heritage.    ___Grape vines can be found on nearly every street in Palestine — on apartment balconies in cramped refugee camps, to sprawling fields and courtyards in cities and villages.   [. . . .] This year’s harvest, for many farmers across the occupied West Bank, is bittersweet, marred by the violence of months past.   ___Between the months of May and July 7, according to documentation from NGO B’Tselem, more than 2,000 grape vines were cut down, directly affecting dozens of farmers and hundreds of their family members, amounting to material damages in the hundreds of thousands of shekels.   More . . .
Related . . .    ‘AGRICULTURAL  TERRORISM’:  PALESTINIAN  CROPS  FACE  DESTRUCTION  BY  ISRAELI  SETTLERS

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

ABU  RUDEINAH:  US’  POSITIONS  “INTOXICATED”  US-PALESTINE  RELATIONS        Spokesperson for President Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudeinah, condemned on Friday a statement made by US President Donald Trump’s top adviser Jared Kushner to New York Times, saying the recent positions of the United States administration “intoxicated” the Palestinian-US relations.   ___In a press statement, Abu Rudeinah said Kushner’s statement indicates that “[he] is unaware of the reality of the conflict, and is an attempt to mislead and falsify the history of Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian sanctities.”   ___He continued, “Peace will only come through the two-state solution with East Jerusalem as capital of the State of Palestine, in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy and the resolutions of the Arab summits.   More . . .
Related . . .  PALESTINIAN  LEADERS  PLAN  TO  FIGHT  US  PUNITIVE  MEASURES
Related . . .  HAMAS:  ISRAELI  AGGRESSIONS  AT  AQSA  DOVETAIL  TRUMP  ANTI-PALESTINE  DEAL
Related . . .  THE  MOST  DANGEROUS  JUDAIZATION  PROJECT  IN  OCCUPIED  JERUSALEM

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .  

THE  MUSEUM  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  PEOPLE  will be hosting our inaugural fundraising reception on Monday,  SEPTEMBER  24TH  at the historic Tabard Inn in Washington, D.C, and you’re invited! We hope you will be able to join us to support the opening of the MUSEUM  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  PEOPLE,  the first and only museum in the nation’s capital that will be dedicated to celebrating Palestinian culture, history and resilience.    Information . . .     Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“I  HAVE  NO  HOME,”  BY  YOUSEF  EL  QEDRA

I saw clouds running away from the hurt.
I have no language.
Its weight is lighter than a feather.
The quill does not write.
The ink of the spirit burns on the shore of meaning.
The clouds are tears, filled with escape and lacking definition.
A cloud realizes the beauty she forms—
beauty which contains all good things,
for whom trees, gardens, and tired young women wait.

I have no home.
I have a night overripe with sweats caused by numbness all over.
Time has grown up on its own without me.
In my dream, I asked him what he looks like.
My small defeats answered me.
So I asked him again, What did he mean?
Then I found myself suspended in nothingness,
Stretched like a string that doesn’t belong to an instrument.
The wind played me. So did irresistible gravity.
I was a run of lost notes that have a sad, strong desire to live.
――Translated by Yasmin Snounu and Edward Morin

――From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE.  Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.